Melbourne startup ParentPaperwork, an online platform automating school-related paperwork like excursion permission slips, has signed an exclusive distribution deal with Indian company smartData Enterprises.
The deal will see smartData, a business consulting organisation that builds high-end database driven applications, distribute ParentPaperwork’s online forms platform into India’s vast education market.
Fiona Boyd, ParentPaperwork’s co-founder and CEO, said the expansion to India seemed like a natural progression for the company.
“There are more than one million schools in India, it’s one of the largest education markets in the world. In comparison there are maybe 160,000 or so schools in the USA, so it made complete sense to us to look to India when deciding on our growth strategy,” she said.
Ajay Tewari, CEO of smartData, said the ParentPaperwork solution caught his eye thanks to its ease of navigation and its customisable functionalities.
“With Indians taking a liking to web and mobility, the timing for such a productive application is a blessing in disguise for the much in demand ‘education’ we Indians are known for across the globe,” Tewari said.
Unlike other apps and platforms that connect schools with parents, ParentPaperwork aims to reach each and every parent from the beginning via by integrating directly into a school’s contact database. It uses email and secure web pages rather than relying on social media or parents owning a smartphone in order to access an app. As a result of this accessibility, the company has found that 50 per cent of parents are sending back completed forms within 24 hours of receiving them.
The accessibility means it is easily adaptable for foreign markets.
“Our cloud-based software as a service solution for online forms in schools has struck a chord with teachers and school administrators everywhere. At the end of the day our mission is to save them time and cost in an efficient and effective way, and that’s a proposition that resonates no matter where a school is located,” Boyd said.
ParentPaperwork follows Literatu as the latest Australian EdTech startup to find success in Asia, with the company’s expansion into India the result of it acknowledging that there are often bigger opportunities for EdTech startups in Asia than in other markets.
In an interview with Startup Daily last year, Boyd said that while the company had originally planned to follow the traditional expansion route by expanding into the US and UK after launching in Australia, they found themselves being approached by government officials around Asia and, as a result, switched their initial focus.
The deal with smartData comes in the middle of a busy few months for ParentPaperwork. After closing a $350,000 seed round in December, the company has now appointed its first US-based sales representative, and has launched an online marketing campaign in the UK. The company is also fielding inquiries from around Australia.